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In the mood for a Dogfish Head tourgasm?

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 2:35pm

tourgasm |tur’-gazem| 
1. a climax of beer-loving excitement, characterized by feelings of intense pleasure, experienced as a result of a Dogfish Head brewery tour. Dude, that brewery tour was sick. I think I just had a tourgasm.

We Dogfish Head guides go through a bit of a buildup before each tour. We cross-check facts with other guides, go over stories in our heads. Gotta double-check that portable mic to see if it’s charged. A nervous excitement grows as we move closer and closer to the start. Some of us even slip off alone for a moment to center ourselves.

Guests feel it, too, a nervous energy as they post selfies and glance at the clock. “The 120 sure lived up to the hype, but will this tour?”

The guide checks the roster to see how many guests showed up. Almost go-time. Remember: timing is key. Too much information too early or too late could blow the whole thing.

“Welcome to Dogfish Head, everyone! If you’re on the next tour, please grab a pair of safety glasses and meet me over by the brewhouse door!”

The guests shuffle to the far end of the tasting room. Behind the door is the brewhouse, where all the magic happens. Let’s do this.

There can be an awkwardness in the first few moments. Maybe the first joke falls flat. Somebody always has to pee right away. But then the momentum picks up. The guests look us in the eye, smiling and nodding. We look right back, and we’re smiling and nodding, too. The ice has been broken. We like them, and they like us. The hour flies by, and before we know it, we’re all back in the tasting room.

This is when you see it, the joy all over their faces. The guests are glowing, and so are we. Some of them linger, wanting more. Just another question or two. “What was it you said about aging beers? How hard is that Palo Santo wood?” What they’re really saying is, “I don’t want this moment to end!”

And the guides? Well, we can’t say no, because we feel it, too. The bartender calls us for backup, but we pretend not to hear. We can go just a little longer and give these guests everything they were hoping for.

But alas, it can’t last forever. Eventually we have to say goodbye. We smile, exchange goodbyes, and promise that one day, we’ll do it again.

So next time you're in the mood, drop by our Milton brewery. We promise … it’ll be tourgasmic!

Andrew Greeley, a former Dogfish tour guide, now runs the Dogfish Inn.